A Doodley How To

Scott Esbeck, artsy winner of the most recent Doodley contest, has graciously agreed to share the secrets behind the talents he so regularly shares with the rest of us. He has a hilarious sensibility and an incredible style, and we’re thrilled to have him writing for us today.

This is a well put together and wonderfully detailed look into his process, and on top of that, it’s a pleasure to read.

Without any further ado, here is Scott Esbeck’s Doodley How To!

A Doodley How To

First, I would like to talk a little bit about the equipment and set up.  I use an iPad with a stylus. A stylus or “tablet pen” is much easier to draw with than your finger.  While they often say “iPad stylus” on the packaging, they work for the iPod Touch and iPhone as well.  I recently bought one at Wal-Mart for 12 dollars.  I prefer a longer stylus vs. the shorter “mini pen” type. 

If you are using an iPhone or an iPod for your drawing, you may want to take advantage of the ZOOM feature built into iOS 5.  To turn on that function you need to go into the device’s settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Zoom.  Turn the zoom on and then you can tap your screen with 3 fingers to get a closer view of your artwork to fine tune details. 

Doodley reveals the newest assignment for us on Sunday mornings. Look to see what the assignment is as soon as possible, then take some time to think of the most creative approach to the assignment.  Once you have an idea…it’s time to get to work. Depending on the subject, I might even do a little research on the internet.  I only refer to photos as reference material. This is more authentic than referring to another artist’s renderings. You may even want to make some sketches on paper to iron out your ideas quickly first.  


The example I am showing here is for the “Party Penguin” assignment.  I thought about the penguin and decided penguins look like they are having the most fun while they are sliding down the ice on their bellies. That’s the concept I wanted to illustrate. 

I start with a thicker pen width and quickly sketch in the composition.  At this point I don’t worry about the details.  I want to make sure I have room on the page for everything I plan to draw, and that it looks nice as an overall composition.  If I don’t like the size of the elements in the design, now is the time to clear the page and start over…before I spend any more time adding details.

As the drawing progresses I decide where the colors will go, still using a larger pen size. 

Now that I have the basic shapes and colors in place, I take the pen size all the way down to the thinnest line available.  To shade with color I select different shades of the same color to give the appearance that the colors are blending.  My style of working is with short sketchy lines that leave a textural look.  This is my personal preference; others like a clean smooth style. You could even do a stippled or dotted type of shading by tapping small dots on the screen.

As I work the drawing evolves because I have a lot of time to think about other things that I could add. Since this is a “Party”, I decided to add a few more penguins in the background.  

Once I am happy with the composition and details, I save a copy to my iPad, then upload a copy to the Doodley server. Half the fun is in waiting for the results.  

The most important thing to remember is have fun.  If you have fun drawing, that is your reward.  An iTunes Gift card is just icing on the cake.    

When we first asked Scott to put down a few of his thoughts into a Doodley tutorial, none us here at Mention Mobile expected such a thorough, impressive article. In retrospect, though, we shouldn’t be surprised that Scott would put as much work into this piece as he does into his artwork. This is immensely helpful. A big, hearty high-five to Scott for putting this all together. Great advice by a great artist.

If you’re a fan of Doodley and you’d like to share your process with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

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